Professional Reader
Bitcoin Billionaires. A fawning look at the betrayal to redemption trail of the Winklevoss twins

From the New York Times, bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires (the inspiration for The Social Network movie) comes the fascinating story of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.

I was aching to read Bitcoin Billionaires, even contacting the publisher directly for a review copy. I’ve not read Ben Mezrich’s previous book Accidental Billionaires, but I watched and loved The Social Network movie and even felt a tad sorry for the privileged, handsome, smart Winklevoss twins. I was definitely intrigued by what happened and how Zuckerberg played them and won. Even though the twins hardly lost with their multi-million dollar payout.

Duffy’s Thoughts On Bitcoin Billionaires

How disappointed I was when I started reading! The overarching story of redemption in Bitcoin Billionaires is not about Tyler and Cameron at all. Rather, author Ben Mezrich seems to have published this book as some kind of apology for The Social Network. Trying to reverse the way the twins were portrayed as Harvard jocks who rowed well and had fantastic hair. The book isn’t balanced and was so cringey at times with its fawning prose that I very sadly had to stop reading. It almost read like a piece of fan-fiction.

A great example early on is when Mezrich refers to the twins Olympic rowing prowess.

“Pull, goddam it! Pull!”

Every cell in Tyler’s body surged as he put his weight against the oar. He groaned as his broad shoulders opened like the wings of a bird, his frame stretching into the stroke with near perfect precision. Directly in front of him, Cameron moved in parallel, two parts of a coordinated well-oiled machine. From afar they were a duet of smooth, controlled motion, but up close, inside the carved-out, fibreglass shell slicing across the crystal water, it was all sinew and sweat and grime, knots of muscle rising and falling beneath skin bruised and blistered and torn. – Bitcoin Billionaires

See what I mean? It’s almost erotic!

If a movie is made about the Winklevoss twins return to glory with Bitcoin, I will be sure to watch it. Their story still intrigues me, however, I was expecting a book balanced in its delivery told through the lens of an experienced biographer rather than that of a teenage crush. Or, maybe the twins orchestrated a favourable biography for themselves in the light of the Social Network fallout? Who knows. Either way, I was sorely disappointed.

Duffy’s final thoughts

Bitcoin Billionaires could have been a compelling contemporary human story, but instead was completely lost in the authors delivery. A wasted PR opportunity for two incredibly smart, albeit Harvard privileged men who are owning the crypto world. They are doing something right, this just wasn’t the right way to tell their side of the story.

Bitcoin Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. A fawning tale of betrayal and redemption. The story of the Winklevoss Twins as the first Bitcoin Billionaires.

Bitcoin Billionaires published May 2019 RRP 32.99